Tag Archives: Verstappen

Max Verstappen: “I think in every area I improved”

Max Verstappen says he has improved in every area over the course of what is only his second season in single-seaters.

The Dutchman currently lies 10th in the World Championship, having earned two fourth place finishes.

I think in every area I improved,” he said today. “Especially after only one season in lower categories, when you make the jump to F1, I think the raw speed is there, it’s just you need to develop in all the other areas – and I think I coped with that pretty well.

So I’m pretty happy with how the whole season went in general. I improved in everything. Qualifying I think especially, that’s all going well now but all the areas, especially with the help of the team, it’s going much better and I expected it to be like that because I am still very young and I have a lot of things to learn.”

Verstappen says he enjoys life at Toro Rosso.

I think the strong point is the atmosphere in the team and maybe it’s something Italian. I enjoyed it a lot also in go-karting and I still have it here as well. It’s like a big family and I think when a driver feels well in a team, also the performance goes better so definitely enjoying it.

Also the team is still very young and they are very ambitious and I think already compared to last year the car is a big step forward, so I’m very happy with that, to be able to drive such a good car. So yeah, the weak point, I don’t really have a big weak point in the team. It’s just that we’re missing a little bit of top speed, maybe that’s the only thing.”

Asked if he was in a hurry to get into a top team he said: “I’m never in a hurry but, of course, if you have two fourth places you’re very close to the podium, you want to be on it. But I still have a lot of things to learn and I’m pretty happy where I am right now – but hopefully in a couple of years I can fight for victories. I think everybody wants that.”

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Lotus: Verstappen was “silly” in clash with Grosjean

Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane is adamant that Romain Grosjean did nothing wrong prior to being hit by Max Verstappen at Monaco’s Ste Devote corner.

The stewards decided that the Dutchman was at fault, handing him a five-place grid penalty, but he has since claimed on Twitter that he was “brake tested” by Grosjean.

“It was fairly clear,” Permane told this writer. “Verstappen did a bit of a brainless move. It was very obvious from the video. Romain doesn’t move, or he moves a little bit, and you are allowed to move a little bit, but it’s not like he’s wavering all over the track. He’s not braked early or anything like that. It’s very clear that Verstappen’s just been silly.”

Permane has that Grosjean braked 5m later than on the previous lap, and that the stewards acknowledged that evidence when penalising Verstappen.

Although Grosjean was able to continue his subsequent pace was compromised by the incident: “It damaged the floor a little bit, but he was hit fairly square-on on the wheel, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. He was also on very worn soft tyres that had cooled down after the safety car.”

Another disappointment for the team was the early retirement of Pastor Maldonado, who had made Q3. The Venezuelan was in brake trouble even before Verstappen’s successful pass at Ste Devote.

“Pastor had a hydraulic leak, which manifested itself straight away as braking problems, and we retired him because we were worried about the safety of the braking system. He was having to brake very early and had a very long pedal.”

Meanwhile Permane believes that both Canada and Austria will play to the strengths of the E23.

“We should have had both cars in the top 10, we thought we would struggle a little bit more than that. We should have come away with a point and a bit of damage limitation, but we’re pretty confident that the next races will be pretty strong.

“Canada is about straightline speed, which we have in abundance, and it looks like we have good slow speed. The engine performance will help us in Canada and Austria. I think we can be reasonably competitive everywhere.”


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Max Verstappen: “It’s all in your confidence…”

Max Verstappen was the star of first practice in Monaco on Thursday when the Toro Rosso driver finished the session in second place, behind only Lewis Hamilton.

Remarkably it was also the 17-year-old’s first ever experience of the circuit, while all the other 2015 rookies have driven there in other categories. Rain meant that FP2 didn’t play out properly, and he hit traffic on his early run, so he didn’t have a chance of a repeat. It will be fascinating to see if he can carry his early form into the rest if the weekend.

I was surprised,” said the Dutchman. “After the flag I was looking up at the screen and I couldn’t find myself, and then I went a bit up and went alright – that is a good lap then. The whole session I was building up slowly but already from the simulator to here, I think it was very helpful and it felt straight away very good on the track, and I could get a lot of confidence in myself. The laps were just coming.”

Verstappen said it didn’t take long to get up to speed: “Ten laps. You don’t want to take a lot of risk in the beginning, so you adjust your braking points lap by lap and cornering wise, I felt quite comfortable from the start. If you adjust the braking points, you get more temperature with the tyres and the brakes and everything, it just works better.”

Crucially, he’s fully confident in the car.

It is really predictable round here, and that is very important if you know what the car is doing and you get a lot of confidence. Basically, a street circuit is all about confidence and feeling with the car, even set-up changes don’t make a massive difference, it is all in your confidence.”

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